- Love - when it was Amma's tomato rice that she used to bribe me with, when she had to goto work on a Saturday when I had that day off [Could you believe it, when I say, those days, I chose 'Tomato rice' over Amma?] ; Love - when she packed her famous tomato pickle in a big glass jar for me; Love - when she made her tomato garlic curry to go with rotis or dosa; Love - when she made a simple Thakkali pachadi to go with idlis or dosas; Love - when she made a tomato Jam from home grown tomatoes; Love - when I learnt to make a yummy tomato soup for the first time (I used to hate tomato soups made at restaurants - way too sour for my taste) ; Love - when I concocted a recipe for Soya chunks in Tomato sauce, on a whim and it turned out very tasty.
- Hate - whenever my sister offered her own concoction of tomato juice from home grown tomatoes from my Ammamma's garden. [Btw, The hate was with raw tomatoes ; not with my sweet sister]. It was always a big hit with some of my cousins, but to me, it was 'Blech!'.... I used to hate raw tomatoes with such strong feelings. Well, I've never been forced into eating raw tomatoes. Except for this one instance where I forced myself to eat it. It was one of my first few days in England. When I was checking into this B&B, the guy at the counter asked what I usually had for breakfast. I mentioned 'a toast and an omelette'. He asks the next question 'Anything you'd like, in your omelette?' I say 'Onions, Tomatoes'. He says ' Alright, I'll pick up a few tomatoes from the store, I don't think I have any'.... Well, the next day morning, at breakfast, I am shocked to see a huge omelette and a toast. The tomatoes were very beautifully chopped and sprinkled with salt and pepper and sitting NEXT to the omelette. And the guy asks me, 'So, how is it?'........ I say 'Looks wonderful' and bit into that raw tomato, cursing him under my breath. :) What else could I do? Since then, I have learnt to try raw tomatoes once in a while. And discovered that I LOVE salsa and Maratti Koshumber and a few other dishes with raw tomatoes.
So, when RP announced that she's hosting JFI-Tomatoes, I had to participate in it. What better than trying to come up with a new dish? So, here it is - 'Thai Brinjals in Tomato sauce'. A very simple dish, which brings out the flavors of Thai brinjals and ripe tomatoes without being overwhelming.
Thai Brinjals in Tomato sauce
Thai brinjals (eggplants) - 1 lb, chopped and put in water
Well ripe tomatoes - 3-4, finely chopped
Onion - 1, finely chopped
Garbanzo beans - 1/2 cup, boiled till soft or from a can
Asafoetida - a pinch
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Cummin powder - 1 tsp (* see footnote)
Curry leaves - a sprig
Cummin seeds - 1/4 tsp
salt, to taste
Heat a tbsp oil in a pan and add the cummin seeds. When they are roasted, add the asafoetida and curry leaves. Add the onions and saute them. When the onions turn translucent, add the tomatoes. Saute for a few minutes and add the brinjals. Add the chilli powder and cummin powder and salt and cover the pan with the lid. Let the brinjals cook for 5-10 mins. When done, add the garbanzo beans and let it cook for another minute. Serve hot with rice or roti.